Cleaning up after upgrading to iTunes 12.7

Apple just released iTunes 12.7, and there are some major changes. Apple says that iTunes was “updated to focus on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks.” Notice what’s missing? Ebooks, apps, and ringtones.

itunes 12.7 removes books, apps, ringtones

Supposedly the changes improve our iTunes experience by removing bloat, but what they really do is further lock us in to the Apple ecosystem. Now, the only Apple-approved way to get ebooks or ringtones is through the iTunes store on your iDevice. You’ve always had to get apps from Apple, but now you have to manage them on your device. So:

  • No more saving your mobile data by loading apps on the computer and syncing via USB.
  • No more managing content for multiple devices from a single place.
  • No more using iTunes on your computer to easily load ebook and ringtone files you create yourself or get from external sources.

When Apple ripped this functionality from iTunes, they didn’t bother to clean up afterwards. On the one hand, if you want to recover ebooks and ringtones you didn’t buy from Apple, you can. On the other, you may have lots of files left behind that you no longer need, just taking up disk space. Either way, you’ll want to get them out of your iTunes Media Library, since they serve no purpose there. By default, you can find your media files here:

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media (for Win10, usually C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media)
  • Mac: ~/Music/iTunes Library/

The ‘Mobile Applications’ folder should be deleted. ‘Books’ and ‘Tones’ can be moved or deleted, depending on whether you have non-Apple files you want to keep. Deleting these folders will NOT remove the files from your iDevices.

Apps in particular can take up a lot of space. I got over 3GB of disk space back by deleting these folders.

You can still load your non-Apple files to your iDevice, it’s just much less convenient. Hopefully the folks at Calibre will step up soon, In the meantime, I’ll stick with my Kindle for ebooks, and look harder at Android the next time I need a new phone.

On the other hand, sync times are a lot shorter now. Maybe this isn’t all bad…

Note: If you’ve been managing content purchased from Apple in iTunes, you may have to re-download it to your iDevice.

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